This time of year, it’s common for the word “tax” to appear in news headlines. But aside from the big April deadline, there is one other story about this subject that might pique the interest of people in our industry. That would be a recent “recovery credit” initiative that’s taking in place in New York. Thanks to some statewide legislation, employers there can now get up to $2,000 back from Uncle Sam if they hire former addicts looking to get back on their feet.
Let’s be honest, one of the biggest struggles for those who come out of treatment is finding gainful employment again. If you were fired or jailed because of an addiction per se, there could be some uphill struggles when it comes to returning to the workforce. Sadly, the stigma can still play a big role in the way hiring managers perceive a candidate. Issues like trust and reliability often come into play.
But with New York’s latest approach, there is a real incentive (and a real reward) for any business willing to take a chance on someone who has gone through recovery. And, in that state at least, this could open the door to a large number of unemployed alumni. Per local ABC affiliate WKBW, as many as 65,000 residents had gone through treatment over the past year-and-a-half.
During WKBW’s news segment on the new tax, several former addicts were interviewed. A local recovery advocate named Deadra Smith was excited to hear about the initiative and the possibility of breaking the daunting addiction stigma.
“For those who are hesitant, I would ask them to breathe. It’s okay, you can’t catch the disease of addiction, it’s not contagious, ” Smith told the news outlet. “They should be open-minded and be willing. I want to work, I want to learn and I want to earn. It is very important for me to live right.”
For the record, the law does put certain parameters in place. For businesses to be eligible for the $2,000 tax credit, they need to have a recovering addict on their staff for at least 500 hours a year. A rule like that does make a lot of sense, to ensure employers follow the proper guidelines and give these candidates a proper chance to earn a living and prove themselves.
The other good news is, any business in the state can participate. For a full rundown of the initiative, take a look at the WKWB report below…